(The flotilla of six ships, including the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara, was on its way from Cyprus to Gaza carrying supplies including cement, paper and water purification tablets that was intercepted by the Israelis. Image source: BBC)
I really wonder why these Malaysians are involved in the Turkish Gaza mission in the first place?
Let’s get something right first – it is a fact that Malaysia does not formally recognise Israel. It is a fact that the Palestine issue is not a new one and despite strong objections on the issue by the global community for decades, nothing positive had happened (Palestinians are still screwed until today).
So I wonder why 18 Malaysians (12 have returned after being arrested), knowing that they are going to face the Israeli military (or at least the administration which is not recognised by Malaysia), opted to join the flotilla that was destined to break a naval blockade to Gaza.
Why they are in Gaza when certain places in Malaysia and some Malaysians are in shit-holes themselves? Where were these 12 jokers when there was a massive crisis in Darfur, Sudan? Was it because the perpetrator in Darfur was Muslims and in Gaza was Jews?
Malaysian Defence reports:-
I remembered, last year, when the peacekeeping mission to Lebanon was announced, Malaysia was tripping its heels to get its troops there.
This time around, it is strangely in a slow motion mode. No one is talking about the number of troops to be sent, just considering and waiting.
They even sent a special envoy to check what is going on down there! Which is to me, a clear indication of our wariness of sending troops there
For Unifil, we offered 1,500 troops even before the UN make an offer. In the end, after much wrangling, we got 300 troops.
Didn’t they know that when they play with fire, there is a big chance they might get burned?
And when the Israelis did respond strongly to the flotilla to Gaza, some Malaysians and the nothing else to do political parties in the country (both from BN & PR) cry out foul.
But then again, the question, many failed to ask, is why the Israelis acted as such? BBC in its Q&A page tries to answer the question:-
Why did Israel want to stop the flotilla?
Israel and Egypt prevent a large range of goods from reaching Gaza, in order to put pressure on the Hamas government.
These include cement and scaffolding, which it says can be used to make launchers for rockets, but also a range of other goods which do not undermine Israeli security.
Israel also wanted to check that the ships did not contain deliveries of weapons or cash. It offered to allow the flotilla to land in an Israeli port, and to deliver by road any goods that passed its checks.
Some previous flotillas have been allowed to reach Gaza; others have been turned round and sent back.
It is not clear why this latest one was greeted by a commando-style raid.
It may have been because of the size of the largest boat, the Turkish-owned Mavi Marmara carrying nearly 600 passengers, which made it difficult to board by pulling up alongside.
Did Israel breach international law?
This is disputed.
A Turkish draft resolution circulated at the UN Security Council described the attack as a violation of international law. Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the raid “tantamount to banditry and piracy” and “murder conducted by a state”.
Israel’s foreign ministry says that under international maritime law, when a maritime blockade is in effect, no boats can enter the blockaded area.
It adds: “Any vessel that violates or attempts to violate a maritime blockade may be captured or even attacked under international law.”
The Malaysians who went with the flotilla almost got themselves killed or arrested and yet here we are, questioning the other party on the wrongdoing. And who are we to tell others what to do?
When other cries fault on how the Malaysian Government conduct itself, the local politicians (clearly unfit for the post that they are holding) come over and shout to others to mind their own business.
Now we are telling Israelis that what they did was wrong – it would not be a surprise if the Israeli Government comes back and ask the Malaysians to “f-off”.
We are not angels so we cannot expect others to be one. And those 12 Malaysians were simply at the wrong place and at the wrong time and they were not “heroes”, they were just busy-bodies, getting into other people’s conflicts.
And when they get in trouble, time and huge resources have to be deployed to “rescue” them – sigh!.
Let’s focus on the shit that is happening at our own front yard (read: Well said, TDM) and work to make the country on a better footing on the economy, human rights, civil justice and governance before we venture to tell others.
In the meantime, 6 Malaysians are still on a ship approaching Gaza with “Israel’s prime minister has vowed the ship will not reach land”.
Good luck, Amigos!